25,000-ton monument from the North Sea makes last trip to be recycled


The giant Hutton tension leg platform, a landmark in the North Sea oil industry, made its last trip today.

The 25,000-tonne, 48-meter-high platform has been towed five miles across the Cromarty Firth to Queen’s Dock in Invergordon where it will be recycled over the next 12 months.

The Hutton rig operated for 20 years in the Hutton oilfield between Shetland and Norway, before being decommissioned and returning to the Cromarty Firth in 2009.

Jonathan Townley, Managing Director of Nerida, said: “We are delighted to have removed all regulatory hurdles and to move forward with the dismantling of the structure. Queen’s Dock was the natural choice because of its exceptional facilities and experience in this area. One of our main priorities was to ensure that the jobs created through this process remained in the UK.

“This is a good example of the circular economy as the hull was built at Highland Fabricators in Nigg and the bridge section was built at McDermott shipyard in Ardersier. The two sections were assembled in the Moray Estuary off Findhorn, so it is fitting that the platform ends its life in Invergordon.

Hutton was the world’s first straight-leg platform (TLP) permanently moored to the seabed, a design that provides vertical stability and better production control.

The process of lifting the 500 tons of chains and anchors and towing the platform five miles from Invergordon is expected to take 24 hours and will involve six tugs accompanied by a rescue boat.

Bob Buskie, Cromarty Firth Harbor General Manager, said: “This is a momentous moment for everyone at the harbor as the Hutton TLP – known as the Pillars of Cromarty Firth – prepares for the final leg of its journey after having been a part of our landscape for 12 years.

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